Monday, May 16, 2011

Event Organizing 101 - Aaron Aleong

One of the main focuses of the Emperor’s Codex will always be to encourage our community in a positive manner. So any time I feel that the blog can is some way help out the local or online community in a positive manner I will most likely pursue that action. With that in mind I will be doing a series of articles on organizing events. I feel that the event organizers end up with what is sometimes a thankless job. Also that so little light or discussion is put into the behind the scenes aspects of running events. So to kick things off we will be doing some Event Organizing 101 and we will be kicking these off with some basic Q and A (not to be confused with basic T and A) with some fellow gamers from the community that take the time to put together events.
This week we have Event Organizing 101 – Aaron Aleong
Aaron was in the first group of guys that I have reached out to online to get some feedback and perspective on this subject. So here is a quick Q and A from Aaron. Aaron is pretty well known online as Spaguatryine but I'll go ahead and let Aaron speak for himself as we fire this off this monday.
Please give a brief background on your gaming experience and organizing events background.
I am Spaguatyrine from I have played 40k for 2.5 years.  I started with deathwing terminators and have expanded my playing experience to regular space marines in the previous edition as well as Tyranids (Nidzilla), the new imperial guard codex, and daemonhunters.  I now specialize in Space Wolves and Grey Knights.  I am a very competitive player in tournaments and have an 8 tournament win streak going without a loss. (7 with space wolves and 1 with grey knights)
My home game store is Games 2 Die 4 located in Avon, Indiana, along with Scottydont, Caulyn Darr, and Dodger3. We have built the premier tournament game spot in Indiana thru our gaming club, Hive Fleet Indy. We run approximately 6 to 8 tournaments a year that bring in an average of 28-30 players.
What led you to start organizing events?
Scott and I played a few tournaments at another store on the southside of Indianapolis and really liked tournaments.  After 3 tournaments they stopped running events and we decided to pick up where they left off and organized our gaming club and started running events.
 If you recall what was the first organized event you ran and how did that go?
 I ran a win/loss tournament with 20 players that was very successful.  This was kind of the first type of event in the area after the Nova Open and it turned out the gaming community loved it. The idea of not having to kill everything started to spread in a positive manner. 
 What did you take away from running your first event?
 We could run with a lot more players in a win/loss event since there was less to worry about and tempers wouldn't flare as much. I also learned to start earlier as people get less cranky if you get done earlier.  I also learned to have mission sheets for each table instead of just 1 or 2 to spread around. 
 Can you offer any tips or advice on working with the store/venue of an event location?
 You first must gain the trust of the store.  Working with the owner or manager to allow you to make most decisions yourself has been a key to our success.  Obviously getting the quarterly prize support that GW offers which is $150 in free prize support greatly helps add to your prize support pool, which attracts more players.  We also give a small portion of the entry fees to the owner. I suggest 10 to 15%.  In addition all the prize support are gift cards to the store, so the store or owner will get the entire entree fee $$ back anyways.  Show the owner how an event will benefit them. More $$, more advertisement of their location, more people in their store to buy things (most owners offer a small discount when there is a tournament). 
For you personally what is the hardest part of running an event?
 Dealing with personalities that like to argue and don't except your ruling as a Tournament Organizer (TO).  Ensuring that pairings are done randomly with others to watch this process.  A lot of people who travel don't like to be paired together. I believe for the 1st round this is paramount to having out of towners come to your tournaments.   
For you personally what is the most rewarding part of running an event?
For others to have a great time, and thank you for running a great event.  Also I like to give advice after games. I like to see new players getting better as well. 
If you had to give a single piece of advice to someone who was interested in organizing an event for the first time what would you pass on?
Go to a few events, play in a few to see what you like and dislike, then form events with at least 3 people where you can challenge each other's ideas. 

I want to thank Aaron for taking the time to play along and help out as I gather information to put these up. If you haven't already discovered theback40k in your online travels because you have missed it somehow or you can't actually read. (If you can't read I suggest finding someone who can read the site to you on a regular basis just like I am sure you do for this site. =)  ) I added the site to the blog roll on the right but really this is a site that is a pillar of the online community. They always have great info and the guys are all down to earth and chatty. Great place in general. Also if your in the Indiana area or traveling through and you haven't already you should check out Games 2 Die 4 located in Avon.  I am sure any of the locals from back40k would be glad to meet up with you and skool you on some dice throwing while you're in their hood.
The goal is to put a little more of the behind the scenes info online for our online community to have access to and inspire discussion or encourage those considering making the jump from player to organizer that the task is doable even though it can seem overbearing. If you run events locally large or small and are interested in doing a Q and A please contact me Drkmorals @ Remember you might encourage the person who could be running the events you enjoy going to in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post. I am really impressed with Aaron's work. Not only does he seem to have a great game room store, but his organizational skill are awesome, too. I can't even imagine what it would be like organizing 6-8 tournaments a year for up to 30 people! I have a hard enough time just trying to keep track of my family!


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